John Frusciante Lesson: How to Play Like a Chili Pepper, Part 1



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Where is part 2?



I'll never forget hanging-out and listening to tunes with my guitarist/friend Paul one time "WAY-back-in-the-day," when he turned me onto his new (at the time!) Red Hot Chilipeppers CD called: "Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik." Needless to say, I was blown away by the songwriting, the diversity, the funkiness/grooves, the production-style, and the unique/creative guitar-playing by this young-cat named John Frusciante!

Anyways, I knew NOTHING about John Frusciante at the time, other than what my ears told me, which was that this guy definitely went to the Jimi Hendrix school of rhythm-guitar/chord-embellishing, as well as the James Brown school of traditional funk-guitar! I also knew (from my friend Paul telling me) that Frusciante was a big fan of the Chilipeppers before he auditioned/joined (in other words he'd see them play a lot when they'd gig in California!) Thus when he went to tryout/jam with them, he already knew their material/style pretty well! I did also knew that this was his second LP/recording with the band (as he played on Mother's Milk as well...) Anyways, besides that, I knew nothing about John Frusciante's musical-background. Now, I think it's really cool to find out (from the aforementioned Guitar World Lesson/Interview) that an extremely creative/unique stylist-of-a-player (NOT an overt shredder - although he COULD be if he wanted to!) could open-up about his guitar/music education and imply that music-theory can really help ANY guitarist/musician! By contrast, I HATE the close-minded notion purported by many (probably lazy!) players who claim that: "Learning Music-Theory will just automatically stifle/ruin their creativity!" Bullshit! Go tell that one to John Frusciante!

BTW, I certainly admit that there have been countless guitarists/musician-icons who NEVER learned Music-Theory, and that's cool too. It's NOT for everyone. However it is irresponsible for anyone to claim that learning Music-Theory is automatically a negative thing for EVERYONE?!? For every (musically un-trained) cat like: Jimi Hendrix, EVH, SRV, Billy Sheehan, etc, (who are ALL awesome musicians/players BTW!) there's also guys like: Miles Davis, Randy Rhoades, Jaco Pastorius, Larry Carlton, Steve Lukather, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, etc, and now come to find out - John Frusciante, who TOTALLY know their shit! (..and who are ALL also awesome musicians/players too!)

P.S. Shortly before Jimi Hendrix died, Jimi was quoted as saying that he was planning on taking a bit of time off to learn how to read music and to learn Music-Theory! Interesting...I always thought that this may have been the result of possibly being in a creative-rut, and/or the prospect of collaborating with Miles Davis sometime in 1971, which had been verbally agreed upon by both Jimi and Miles...Who knows?

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